Call for Applications: Post - doctoral and Doctoral Research Fellows

25 November 2016

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Department for Socio-Cultural Diversity) wishes to appoint highly qualified candidates for up to five new research positions (Deadline: 11 January 2017) . For all positions, applicants should have a degree in anthropology, sociology, political science, geography, socio-linguistics or another related social science discipline.

Successful applicants’ research interests, experience and publications should be relevant to themes and topics within the Department for Socio-Cultural Diversity (see Currently the Department is especially looking to expand its work on diversities in Europe and Africa, particularly in urban contexts. This includes social scientific work on:

  • Concepts of, and responses to,‘diversity’: among cities and urban actors, within organizations, in political life and institutions;
  • Ethnographies of urban super-diversity (including new contexts, emergent dynamics and methodological challenges);
  • Migration and diversification (particularly how these processes affect urban development);
  • Urban theory and social complexity (especially how population diversification shapes, and is shaped by, the nature of the urban);
  • Diversity under stress(whether as a result of populist or contentious politics, local autochthonous movements, the global erosion of refugee protections, etc.)
  • Encounters and interactions in complex social environments (including social relations across boundaries or social differences.

Further, we are generally interested in enhancing our research agendas on the social organization of difference in various milieus and settings. The Institute welcomes applications from researchers with either/both quantitative and qualitative research skills and experience. For those working on Africa, we particularly encourage applicants working in francophone and/or lusophone contexts, and/or those who embrace comparative work.Very good spoken and written English is required.

[The working language of the Institute is English, and publications in English-language academic journals and books are prioritized.]

Applications should include: a cover letter noting the position applied for and describing the applicant’s career trajectory and interests, CV, a list of publications, writing samples(PhD thesis chapter acceptable) and the names and contact details of potential referees. The deadline for all applications is 11 January 2017. All positions should begin on 1 May 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter.

We are planning to hold interviews between 13 and 24 February 2017. If you are shortlisted, you will be informed by 6 February at the latest. Please refrain from enquiring.

The positions currently on offer are:

Post-doctoral Research Fellows

Initial contracts will be for a period of two years and are renewable for an additional year. Salary is based  on  the  German  collective  bargaining  agreement  for  civil  servants  (TVöD),  level  E  13.  PhD required (thesis needs to be submitted by 7 January).

While  pursuing  their  own  individual  interests,  post-docs  should  be  willing  to  collaborate  and contribute to broader projects and themes within the Department and Institute. Applications for Post-doctoral Fellowships must be submitted electronically through the following portal:

Doctoral Fellows

Initial  contracts  will  be  for  a  period  of  two  years  and  are  renewable  for  up  to an  additional  two years. Doctoral salaries are 50% of TVöD, level E 13. NOTE: The Max Planck Institute does not itself have a doctoral programme, nor does it award PhDs. Some members of staff can however supervise PhDs.; Doctoral Fellows receive a salary and research support costs, but  not university fees. PhD students must  be  independently enrolled in universities and PhD programmes anywhere in the world; they are responsible for fulfilling all of the course and administrative  requirements  of  their  respective universities.  Although Doctoral  Fellows  commonly pursue a doctorate at  a University elsewhere, PhD Student presence  at  the Max  Planck  Institute  in Göttingen  is  required.  In  the  cover  letter,  applicants  for  a  doctoral  position  should  provide  an indication of  the  PhD  programme  in  which  they  are  enrolled  or  wish  to  enroll,  and  what  degree requirements  remain  to  be  fulfilled.  We  welcome  applications  both  from  beginners  and  PhD-students at an advanced stage.

Applications for Doctoral Fellowships must be submitted electronically through the following portal:

The Max Planck Society is mainly funded by German Federal and State Governments (see Max Planck Institutes provide outstanding facilities, academic resources and intellectual environments for the support of independent research. Max Planck Institutes are not tied to universities. There are no teaching obligations for staff, but teaching and other forms of co-operation with universities is possible.

The Max Planck Society wishes to increase the participation of women across the sciences. Applications from women are therefore particularly welcome. Following its commitment to equal opportunities employment policy, the Max Planck Society especially encourages applications from persons with disability.We welcome applications from across the world, there are no nationality requirements.For further details about the institute, the department and its research, please consult the website (

If you have specific, individual questions, please contact Prof. Karen Schönwälder.

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